COVID spike brings death, hunger, and desperation
India is facing one of the greatest crises in its history. A severe spike in COVID-19 cases in India is overwhelming hospitals and spreading rapidly throughout the country. Night and day, people work to burn the bodies of those who die from the virus. Fear permeates the country. The reports of the virus are grim. But an even more serious crisis is at hand—starvation. Throngs are going hungry as their food supplies diminish. For the past year, desperately poor migrant workers and other impoverished Indians lived in survival mode, hoping for better days ahead. Now, yet more lockdowns, more fear, and more economic upheaval are taking a greater toll than ever on needy Indians.
What our contacts are saying:
Many states in India have put lockdowns in place again to reduce the spread of the virus, especially in big cities—meaning day laborers will yet again be unable to earn money for food, causing their families to starve almost immediately. A day without work means a day without food.
This is a depression and recession combined with a pandemic . . . I have never in my lifetime faced something so drastic.
Things are now far worse in India than at any time during the pandemic.
“The most serious need right now is to alleviate starvation,” report workers in India. “Millions are starving and without hope for tomorrow. Families are watching their children wither to nothing, and many have chosen suicide as the only hope of escape.” “The COVID situation is so intense and incomparable to any other tragedy we ever faced,” says a pastor in India. “Almost all cities and towns [in this area] are completely under lockdown . . . Deaths by starvation and suicide are on the rise. We are doing all we can to reach out to the suffering people.” In a recent letter of request from a hospital in India, a doctor wrote, “The COVID situation in India is a nightmare now and spreads without any control . . . People are dying in large numbers, especially due to the acute shortage of oxygen supply. We at our hospital are taking care of hundreds of COVID positive patients and many of them are on oxygen.” Our contacts in India are rising to the overwhelming task of meeting desperate needs. As people grasp for hope and plead for food, they are providing help on a large scale. They welcome our support in their response to the constant outcry for help. When workers delivered food to one family, the mother responded, “Thank you so much for your kindness to bring these food items for my family. My husband and I were even thinking to end our lives with our children for we do not see any hope for the future. God sent you to save our lives.” If you wish to help provide food, emergency supplies, and other aid in India, your support will be a great blessing.